Auction has amazing opportunities

By Mark Newman and Alyson Footer / 12/05/12 5:17 PM ET

The latest Stand Up To Cancer fundraising initiative was created by people within the industry who have watched their own colleagues fight this terrible disease. With that in mind, it only makes sense that the items offered up in an unprecedented online auction have gone above and beyond what anyone would consider typical.
Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs are currently holding an auction on offering once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to fans, all in the name of charity. All proceeds will benefit Stand Up To Cancer, of which Major League Baseball was a founding sponsor in 2008.
There never has been an auction quite like, and that is mainly the result of club PR directors who got together on a mission that is very personal in nature. Many of them work with club personnel who have been diagnosed with cancer, and this became a unified effort to use their unique access and list at least 70 items that almost make it hard to choose.
For example (all bids current as of 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday):
The Angels are offering four tickets to a meet and greet with manager Mike Scioscia. The winner wil also have dinner in the Diamond Club. That package had drawn 18 bids as of 5 p.m. ET, with the highest coming in a whopping $1,475.
The Cardinals are inviting fans to peer into the annual Spring Training ritual called Photo Day. The winner will stay in the Cardinals' team hotel, the Embassy Suites in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., on Monday Feb. 18. They will arrive at the Cardinals Spring Training Complex by 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19, to participate in Cardinals photo day with the entire Cardinals team as they go station to station having their photos taken by trading Card companies, stadium scoreboard operators, ESPN and FOX TV productions, video game producers and Cardinals Team photographer. That package has garnered six bids, the highest coming in at $1,475.
How about a Nationals Draft Day Experience? So far, 23 fans have bid on this opportunity, which includes being in the Draft Room when general manager Mike Rizzo and the Nationals make their first-round selection in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft on June 6. The winner will also attend that day's Draft news conference, and will receive two tickets and dinner in the PNC Diamond Club for that night's game versus the Mets. Highest bid so far: $3,025.
The Yankees are offering a unique package called "PR Internship for a Day." Parents can bid on a one-day internship for their son or daughter (high school or college students only) in the New York Yankees' PR department during a non-premium game in 2013. Interns will have the opportunity to spend a day in the Yankees' front office at the new Yankee Stadium and receive a tour of the team clubhouse. Additionally, he or she will be able to personally deliver game notes to Manager Joe Girardi and assist in his daily pregame press conference. He or she will also be given a mention in the game notes as a guest intern for the day. The auction winner and team will mutually agree to a date. So far, 23 bids have come in for this prize, the highest being $3,625.
Jacqueline Parkes, MLB senior vice president of advertising and marketing, credited the initiative of the clubs and said the goal of the SU2C Auction is that it becomes an annual event that increasingly raises more funds and awareness in this ongoing effort.
"These are opportunities of a lifetime that hopefully will change the lives of people who are battling cancer," Parkes said. "This effort by all 30 club PR directors is an unbelievable example of how individual people can make a difference and impact the lives of others. It's amazing to us and we could not be more grateful. It really carries forward the commitment of Commissioner Bud Selig and Sue Selig as an example of partnering with Stand Up To Cancer, because so many people are affected by the disease. It speaks volumes about how baseball cares about the community of those places where we live and play."
The auction includes participation via meet-and-greet and/or autographed items from 16 Hall of Famers: Hank Aaron, Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Orlando Cepeda, Andre Dawson, Carlton Fisk, Al Kaline, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal, Willie Mays, Bill Mazeroski, Willie McCovey, Tony Perez, Gaylord Perry, Jim Rice and Nolan Ryan. Three others honored at Cooperstown have agreed to lend their involvement: broadcasting award winners Denny Matthews and Vin Scully, as well as Roland Hemond, 2011 recipient of the Hall's Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award.
Meet-and-greets or unique experiences were donated by at least 15 current or former All-Stars: Don Baylor, Kirk Gibson, Rick Honeycutt, Tim Hudson, Craig Kimbrel, Brian McCann, Charles Nagy, Giancarlo Stanton and 2012 American League Rookie of the Year Trout -- in addition to Arroyo, Clippard, Longoria, Pence, Price and Tulowitzki.
Listed are autographed items from more of the game's best current and former players, including Jeff Bagwell, Jose Bautista, Craig Biggio, Miguel Cabrera, Adam Dunn, Todd Helton, Felix Hernandez, Chipper Jones, Paul Konerko, Dale Murphy and Frank Thomas.
"With so many of our friends and colleagues recently dealing with cancer, we felt that it was time for us to stand up, and the Winter Meetings present the only opportunity each year when all 30 managers, GMs and all of the media come together," said Josh Rawitch, D-backs senior vice president of communications. "With the unique access we are all fortunate to have to some of the game's greatest treasures, it's really our responsibility to do our part, and we hope this is only the beginning."
SU2C is coming off its third televised roadblock, held in September at the University of Southern California, where more than $81 million was raised. Commissioner Selig and MLB officials and some club owners were in attendance there.
"That, coupled with the money we've raised since our inception, we are able to put together Dream Teams of scientists from across the various disciplines of medicine, as well as young investigators, and we are making progress," Schwartz said. "Because of the support of MLB and the public at large, we are able to have seven Dream Teams up and running, we have funded 20 Innovative Research Grants, and we have people living with cancer today that would not have had that that opportunity if not for the public's support of the fight against cancer."